37: Looking Beyond the Numbers with Natalie Ruhl

37: Looking Beyond the Numbers with Natalie Ruhl

Natalie Ruhl balances ticket metrics with work that has bigger impact on her team and business.


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Charlotte Ward 0:14
Hello, and welcome to Episode 37 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is looking beyond the numbers. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. Today I’d like to welcome back my very good friend Natalie Ruhl. I’ve kind of called this topic looking beyond the numbers. So to me…


It’s intriguing, isn’t it? Looking beyond the numbers. And by that, I mean, looking at the stories behind the numbers, looking at the stories that you’re trying to tell, or looking at the stories that the numbers are telling you, and how you interpret those and how you react to those and how you translate those,

Natalie Ruhl 1:03
I guess to give a bit of context, the way that we work currently is in a very, very small setup. So we have millions of users but we have a very small team. So the numbers for me really are oftentimes in the first place, a way to kind of assess how are we doing volume versus people? What is the kind of like resource and power that we currently have in order to like take on extra work or to tackle that project that’s been in mind that for a while but never really found its way and so from the managers in my teams and me, that’s the first thing that we look at is like what like a number is helping us to work or plan differently I think then a lot of other like, especially like bigger call centre places do it. But yeah, that’s kind of like what we look at first. If we look beyond the numbers, one thing that we have is a point person programme, it’s what it’s called. That means that every agent in my team also is to like 30% part of the product team, that kind of like deals with a certain topic. So that can be anything from like a transactions based thing where, you know, we have someone that mostly looks after like transactional and, and checkout issues and they are working with that same kind of like department on the product side to kind of like talk about current issues, talk about things here or there. So, when I look beyond the numbers, I also look at, like, how successful has this relationship been, you know, how is that going? How, what kind of things that they’ve been driving and how has that impacted the team maybe even impacted the tickets? How is that helping them to grow?

Charlotte Ward 3:02
How do you quantify that? Or can you quantify that?

Natalie Ruhl 3:05
So there’s different ways of quantifying that. So when some we have a, like a framework that we use for kind of suggesting a project, it’s a very basic kind of thing. You quickly state, like make a problem statement of what it is that you want to do, or, and then you quickly outline why you think this is worth your time or like whoever else is involved time looking at like, who would you need? Or what would you need in order to like tackle this? What do you think the impact is on this? And then that doesn’t always mean Oh, if we do this, then we’ll get like 30,000 less tickets or this is going to be massively impactful on CSAT. But it can often also be a measurement on like, how many people have clicked this article? How do customers interact with it and how do they like it? And so, for me, as we are such a small team, giving people the opportunity to not always be stuck in their seat doing tickets, but also owning these relationships with teams that work very differently, and has been super, super helpful. And for that, I don’t necessarily look so much at the numbers but at the impact that someone is having. So we have a retrospective, so to speak with the person and with them in their respective product team and the product managers on that side. And we kind of look at like, how successful is this thing? What did what is it doing? Who is it helping? Is it answering the questions that product has? is it answering the questions that the customers have or that maybe the customer service team has? You know, these are not always things where I think they’re a really easy kind of like a metric to be measured. Success for me in these cases also is like how did someone see this project through? How did they interact with like different stakeholders? Did they you know, manage expectations of people well?. Did they see through to the end? Did they may be also stop it halfway because it wasn’t at all that we thought it would be? You know, were they reliable? So that there’s a lot for me about other qualities I want to say in like someone on my team as well that I try to look at through these things. So I try and look beyond the pure ticket metrics and these things in order to also understand what someone is about because to me, they can be as successful in having solved Another problem that in line will mean a certain group of customers won’t have a certain problem anymore whatsoever. That to me is equally as successful as someone who smashes out 100 tickets an hour every day. You know

Charlotte Ward 5:59
What you just saying that about the qualitative side, you know, you kind of go through layers, don’t you? You talk about, obviously, our first, our first line of numbers is our ticket metrics, and our CSAT and those things, but then, in that extra time that you give your team members to go and explore some of those other projects. It’s kind of tempting to still try and find data. Yeah, it’s still try and find metrics. That’s our natural, happy place, isn’t it in support, it’s kind of got some numbers to prove this worked. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/37 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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